Redundancy - the essentials
What Must Happen During a Redundancy process:
- Collective Consultation should occur for a minimum of 30 days if there are 20-99 roles being made redundant in your workplace in a 90 day period, this rises to 45 days if there are 100+ roles to be terminated within a 90 day period. If there are under 20 people being made redundant, all employees should have at least 1 individual consultation meeting, although many businesses will hold more than this.
Other elements that need to be considered within the context of collective consultation are:
- Consultation occurs with any trade union your organisation has an agreement with, or if there is no trade union, employee representatives should be nominated and elected by those who are affected by the proposed redundancies, unless your company has a employee representative group.
- Consultation must be meaningful, and employers should consider any suggestions or feedback put forward by employees, and respond to these with appropriate rationale, even if the decision is to stick with their original proposal, and the redundancies go ahead.
- The purpose of Consultation both collective and individual is to discuss the proposals for redundancy with employees, to hear and respond to their views and look for ways to avoid, reduce or mitigate compulsory redundancy.
- Consultation should cover the following: Reasons for redundancy, number of redundancies and roles affected, proposed selection method, the process that will be followed, how they will calculate any enhanced redundancy payments, and details of any agency workers
- The selection process for redundancy should be fair, and employers need to pay particular attention to this if they are reducing the number of a particular role type, for example if they are reducing the number of IT Technicians from 6, to 4, there needs to be a fair way to determine who will go and who will stay. This is mostly done through the use of a selection matrix, although if there is a new role being proposed sometimes employers will interview. Selection matrices have a number of criterion that ‘score’ each employee within that role type – these criteria should be as objective (data driven) as possible, although there may be some subjective criteria included too. The rationale behind an employees individual scores should be discussed with the employee in their individual consultation meeting, and employees have the ability to appeal against scores should they disagree.
- During the consultation period and up to the end of an employees notice period, employers should seek to look for alternative roles for at risk employees to be redeployed to. There are two types of alternative role:
- Suitable Alternative Role, sometimes referred to as ‘like for like’ – a role very similar to the existing role, with similar terms, the employee could in affect be ‘slotted’ into this role, unless there are other at risk employees who would also qualify to be redeployed in the role.
- Alternative Role – a different role to the one that the employee currently holds, for example an IT Technician who successfully applies for an IT Manager role, with these roles a 4 week trial period is given, during which time the employer or employee can elect to revert to redundancy if the role does not work out.
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